|Even the Beiruti sidewalks are catching on to the message!|
It says "One day somebody will write a book about all the wonderful love stories that started on campus..." I sent them an e-mail telling them about my thesis and said, "I'm already way ahead of you!" :)
Just thought I'd share...
So, now, on to what I wanted to blog today about something I've seen going around Facebook and Twitter, and I figured now's a good time to talk about it since it's fresh in everyone's minds. There was a really cool video posted recently about whether men and women can be friends or not (the general rule being that they can't be friends). Basically, these two independent filmmakers went around and asked male and female students at Utah State University in America if they can be just platonic friends with someone from the opposite sex. You can check it out here:
Some other really good articles and resources that talk about this are this one, this one (provides some examples/anecdotes), this one, and this one. In fact many people have tried to comment on this such as Chris Rock who has some wisdom and insight to share.
|Even she has something to say about this! (RIP)|
So, CAN men and women just be friends? The majority of the research so far actually says yes, they can be, but with conditions and rules. This author writing for Psychology Today (which has some really great resources) sums it up well:
"The point is that the majority of people believe friendships between the sexes is possible. The majority of people, I suspect, also know what their own parameters are and when those friendships are safe as friendships and when boundaries might be crossed. In that case, the friendship is at risk, and a marriage or partnership (if one of the friends is in one) may be in jeopardy. I return to the need for transparency. Know enough about yourself to understand when a friendship is possible and when you are being friendly with the hope of developing a love relationship -- the latter happens when you are physically as well as emotionally attracted to someone. There is no right or wrong way to do this but being honest with yourself (I admit I am being nice to this person in the hopes of getting them to like me) may prevent confusion and hurt feelings down the road."
Would a guy still sleep with a girl though, even if they were "just friends?" Research also suggest that yes, they would. In a study conducted by Bleske and Buss (2000: 131) found that "men perceived sex with their opposite-sex friends as more beneficial than did women. Women reported receiving protection from their opposite-sex friends more often than did men, and they perceived the protection as highly beneficial. Both men and women reported receiving information from opposite-sex friends about how to attract mates, and they perceived this information as beneficial." So, this reflects the video that I mentioned was going around. Men are perceived as being "protectors," whereas men tend to value the sex they can/do get from their opposite-sex friends. The authors relate this to evolutionary functioning.
What I would want to know is if this question of male-female platonic friendship can be achieved in the Arab world. As all of the above research/resources/articles all are framed within a non-Arab context, it just makes me wonder how these relationships are here. Moreover, it makes me wonder how these narratives are interacting with the local, pre-existing ones.
What do you think? Can they just be friends? Let me know if there's anything else I can expand further (I don't mind editing this (or any) post(s)).
Enjoy your friendships; spread the love,
Bleske, April L., and David M. Buss. 2000. "Can Men and Women Be Just Friends?" Personal Relationships, 7: 131-151.